Mumbai: The top two Indian women finishers in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2011 on Sunday were disqualified after being found guilty of not completing the route, organisers said.
“The two athletes - Waheeda Khan and Vidya Mehta, who ‘completed’ the race in just over two hours and 45 minutes, to bag the top two spots were disqualified by an IAAF jury, after the other participants lodged a complaint saying that they had
not seen them overtaking them,” former Asian Games gold medallist and the co-ordinator for Elite Indian Athletes for on Sunday’s event Sunita Godara said.
Following their disqualification, Jyoti Gawate 3:05:30 (overall 16); Shastri Devi 3:08:15 (overall 18) and M Sudha 3:10:52 (overall 19) were named the top three Indian finishers after over four and half hours of delay.
According to Godara, the ‘running chips’ of Khan and Mehta revealed that they were on track till the 18 km point, but they did not cross the 24.2 km checkpoint at Bandra Reclamation and accidentally took the half-marathon route, missing about nine kilometres of the course.
After learning that she had come fourth, Shashtri Devi, who was the top Indian female finisher here last year, objected to the result and complained about it with the authorities, who then took up the matter.
“It was an unfortunate incident. I know both the girls. They can never cheat. They followed the route without realising it. I have spoken to them. Both Khan and Mehta have admitted that they made a mistake and hence are not contesting the decision,” Godara said.
Both of them will participate in the national games to be held in Ranchi next month, she said.
The top Indian finishers among men (Binning Lyngkhoi) and women (Gawade) were awarded USD 6,000 each.